Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism (HCRJ) has celebrated over
50 years of worship as a Classical Reform Jewish temple in Houston,
Texas. Located in the heart of Houston’s Galleria area, HCRJ offers an
intimate, vibrant, and inclusive Jewish synagogue with a feeling of
warmth and welcoming where Jewish fellowship may flourish.
Rabbi Steven Gross has nurtured profound spiritual connections and an
engaged community since he began serving our congregation in 2005.
Our innovative religious school is based on a curriculum designed to
engage students in dynamic, interactive learning experiences that teach
Jewish history and principles through nature, art, cooking and other fun,
exciting activities. Classes are held on Sunday mornings.
We welcome you at any of our 7:15 p.m. Friday services.
|Bless all who enter this house. May the worship offered within its walls be
worthy of Your greatness and Your love; that all who seek Your presence
may find it here. For the joy of community, the gift of human diversity, and
the vision of universal harmony, we offer our grateful thanks.
-Union Prayer Book Sinai Edition
|Welcome to HCRJ
Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism
(top of page)
|801 Bering Drive
|HOUSTON CONGREGATION FOR REFORM JUDAISM
|Sky Blue and the Hopscotch of Sabbath Peace
|Welcome New Members
Stephanie O’Connor and
Julie Reader and Austin Boyd
|Now that you have seen the temple renovations, please give us your
constructive input on what we can improve, what we forgot and what you
We plan to continue improvements on the building. We are looking for your
input. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details on anything
you noticed that may need improving or is missing; and all comments about
things you absolutely love are appreciated!
|We have built it! You have come! We won’t stop there!
|“The Seven Days of Creation”
A call for submissions to the
Housotn arts community.
HCRJ is looking to commission
work in seven panels depicting
the telling of creation from the
Book of Genesis.
Deadline for proposals are
Saturday, June 15, 2013.
Details on the scope of work,
calendar, fee and elegibility can
be located HERE.
It is often said that life is a grind. This simple statement brings to mind an
image of a machine programmed with a tedious, repetitive task. From time
to time, our lives may seem as monotonous and robotic as a pre-
programmed machine. The demands of work, the seemingly endless hours
spent in traffic and the shuttling of children from one event to the next can
morph into a routine that can become mundane and somewhat numbing.
The truth is that it is easy to burn out when the rhythm of life is dictated by
daily toil and weekly deadlines.
Judaism implores us to avoid the pitfalls of such an existence. Through the
concept of the Sabbath, our faith helps us set aside one sacred day every
week to liberate us from the chaos of work. The Sabbath challenges us to
refrain from becoming slaves to daily toil, and the customs and rituals we
observe encourage us to refrain from a preoccupation with mundane tasks
and material desires.
Sabbath observance invites us to create a sense of equilibrium in our lives.
After six days of striving to have more and achieve more, the Sabbath is set
aside for us to be more. The question I am posing in this article is, “In what
ways might we consider ways of ritualizing a process of “being more” on a
One of my favorite analogies regarding the Sabbath as a day for pause and
reflection was suggested to me by Gloria Herman, who is a long time
member of HCRJ. Gloria Herman, who comes to services with great
regularity, considers the Sabbath as a Sky Blue for the week. Sky Blue is a
term used in the game of hopscotch.
For those who may not have played in their youth, hopscotch is a simple
outdoor game where participants hop on one foot or two through a pattern
of squares drawn on the pavement with chalk. When the final space is
reached at the finish line, the individual is to land solidly on both feet; yell
out ”Sky Blue”; and revel in the joy of reaching the final destination.
As we strive to meet the challenges of the week, we are constantly hopping
over hurdles. Like the game of hopscotch, our minds are actively considering
where to go next and how at the end of the road we will end up on our feet.
Without the joys of Sky Blue at the other side of the challenge, navigating
the road of life would be unceasing and exhausting.
The Sabbath provides us with a weekly opportunity to pause and reflect. It
invites us to consider where we have been and where we might go next. It
summons us to a little down time after the completion of a week of bouncing
from task to task.
Conceptually, the Sabbath is a wonderful idea, but it does not just happen
on its own. Setting aside down time demands preparation. It also requires
us to consider what might enable us to maximize our abilities to experience
a weekly Sky Blue.
In an effort to explore ways to nurture a broader appreciation for the value
of Sabbath observance at home and at temple, HCRJ will be launching a
congregation-wide campaign entitled “Got Shabbat.” During this year-long
effort, Sabbath prayer, music, food, ritual and so much more will be explored
through creative worship, adult education, cooking classes, religious school
programming and congregational surveys. Our goal is to strengthen our
bonds of our community through a shared sense of Sabbath joy, rest and
peace. The hope is that the greeting “Shabbat Shalom” at the end of each
week will be like yelling “Sky Blue” at the end of a game of hopscotch.
HCRJ Annual Meeting
Sunday, May 19
10:00 AM: Annual Meeting
We need you for a quorum. Every
vote counts. Every idea matters.
Our community depends on the
vision of its membership. Please
join us to help shape the future of
HCRJ at our Annual Meeting.
We encourage parents with
children in religious school to stay
for this important meeting. Bagels
and coffee will be served.
REMINDER: In order to vote at the
annual meeting, please make sure
your dues and building fund are
|Join us for our Final Day of
Sunday, May 19
ceremony & closing
assembly at 9:30
“Jewpardy” game and
Brunch And Learn - Shavuot
Sunday, May 12th 10:00AM
Join us for a celebration of
Shavuot with a special adult
education opportunity. Rabbi
Laura Sheinkopf will lead us in an
enriching text study on the Book of
Ruth and together we will share in
the tradition of eating dairy on
Shavuot with a brunch featuring
|The Jewish Federation of Greater
Houston will have its annual
Teacher Appreciation Evening on
Monday, May 20, 2013, at 6:45
PM, hosted by Houston
Congregation for Reform
The Federation will be honoring
the 2013 recipients of the Irving L.
Samuels Outstanding Teacher
Awards for Judaic Studies: Debbie
Wizig of the Shlenker School and
David Wizig of Houston
Congregation for Reform
Judaism. Debbie and David are
the first married couple to be
honored with these awards!
Debbie and David will each receive
a $1000 stipend to use towards a
Jewish educational program of
their choice. They also are eligible
for the Grinspoon/Steinhardt
Awards for Excellence in Jewish
Education that is given through
JESNA, the Jewish Education
Service of North America. The
entire community is invited to
attend and show their
appreciation to these two
educators as well as all of the
outstanding teachers in our